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Kant's Metaphysics of Morals, the Importance of Duty - Essay Example

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One of the most influential philosophers that has profound effect on the field of ethics is Immanuel Kant. His idea about normative ethics became a signpost to determine which course of action is moral and ethical in today’s modern world…
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Kants Metaphysics of Morals, the Importance of Duty
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Kant's Metaphysics of Morals, the Importance of Duty

All of which were important aspects in the moral determination of the will that would contrue an act as moral or ethical. Kant’s normative ethics posits that the best way to act morally is to act from duty with the consideration of the highest good. That is, acting through the moral determination of the will. Kant’s acting through the moral determination of will meant that the motivation of one’s action must be pursued with the good without condition which is intrinsically good by itself. He formulated his deontological ethics in a categorical imperative of doing good for the sake of good regardless of its consequence. The three propositions of moral determination of the will are as follows; Universal Law formulation which is to act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law. This means that if one is to act good, that will should not be subjected to any condition or any physical constraints. Humanity or End in Itself formulation which posits to act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end. This meant the free will is a source of rational action. And that humanity, is not just a result of an action but also the motivation of such action and how the action is carried out. A logical free will should therefore be an end itself because an end is subjective that they needed to be pursued whereas, the rationale action is objective and therefore must be categorically pursued. Kingdom of Ends formulation is the integration of the first two laws that says all maxims as proceeding from our own [hypothetical] making of law ought to harmonize with a possible kingdom of ends. This meant an autonomous will is not subject to anything but it must bind itself to the first two laws to make it applicable to everybody that people by themselves are both a means and an end. In sum, Kingdom of Ends formulation meant that the end and the means must be harmonized to be good and this is applicable to all circumstances without exemption. Kant explained the etymology of the expression of his deontological ethics. According to Kant, imperatives imply what they just meant which are commands such as “wake up early”. Often they are hypothetical imperative because they only serve a specific objective or purpose such as “wake up early so you will not be later for work”. This imperative or command becomes categorical when it is applied universally and that the actions and decisions of individuals are to be judged solely by their motivations and that the consequences do not matter morally (as in the case of hypothetical imperative) neither the intended consequences nor the actual consequences matter morally; only the principle or rule we follow if we do the action matters morally. In simpler terms, this meant doing what is good regardless of consequence and that by doing is an end by itself. Thus, actions themselves become an end and this action should be a rational result in the exercise of freewill. In the example stated, categorical imperative dictates to “wake up” early because it is good to wake up early even without considering one’s need not to be late for work. Consistent to this, Kant’s categorical imperative states that every person has the duty to use and exercise his goodness/humanity as a means to an end. The application of Kant’s second law of categorical imper ... Read More
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